Saturday, December 03, 2005

More snowy

Our visiting snowy owl is making a great recovery. X-rays were taken the other day and the break is healing well. The wing wrap was removed, but the pin is being left in for a little longer time. It seems he didn't like having the wing wrap on and was pulling at it. So we took it off so he wouldn't injure the wing any more. We'll x-ray again in about a week and then decide if it's time to pull the pin out.

There seems to be a snowy owl invasion in the lower 48 states. The only written article I've found though has been on Birdchick blog. She reports a sort of irruption in Minnesota and Wisconsin. She also has a nice shot of a snowy taken at their airport.

The Snowy Owl is highly nomadic. During periods of lemming and vole population crashes in the Arctic, or excessive cold and snow in winter, mass movements of Snowy Owls occur into southern Canada and northern United States. These invasions occur every 3 to 5 years, but are highly irregular. Adult females stay furthest north while immature males move furthest south during these incursions.

Here's a map of the range of the snowy owl. During southward movements they appear along lakeshores, marine coastlines, marshes, and even roost on buildings in cities and towns. So, if your living in the most southern portion of it's range in the U.S., keep an eye out for a snowy. They could be visiting you this winter.


Cindy said...

glad to see your patient is doing so well.. I don't read 'birdchick' but I do know snowies have been showing up in the lower peninsula earlier than usual. I've been checking 'my spot' weekly, where I viewed a beautiful juvenile last spring.. may have to make a trip out to the 'thumb' area soon, that's where they really congregate once true winter arrives, as that area resembles the tundra they are used to.
Keeping your snowy in continued good thoughts :)

Clare said...

Surprisingly, I haven't seen a snowy owl up here yet. Although they are common up here, they are rarely around the areas I normally visit. A valley about half way to Pond Inlet, where Leah's parents often go hunting, has many pairs in it. A friend counted 17 birds there one summer.

My experience with them all comes from their irruptions, when I lived on the prairies and they would perch on bails surveying the frozen fields for voles.

Dave said...

We generally don't get them this far south. This one came from Soldotna, which is even further south. Plus with out mountains and forest, it just not their type of habitat.

Thanks for the good thoughts Cindy and good seeing you Clare.

Pamela Martin said...

Good post! Thanks for the information both on your guest and the situation. I'm hearing about snowys daily from all around me, but none right here yet. I also notice it was warmer in Anchorage this morning than it was in Thomasburg!

Dave said...

We are having a heat wave. It's now +30°F and a little snow. All of the snow and ice melted off my truck today. Now I need to wash it.

vlad259 said...

Great post, Dave. I've never seen a snowy owl in the wild, and I'd love to. They are fantastic creatures. Best of luck with your snowy, glad he's healing well.

Cheers, Matt

Dave said...

Thanks Matt. Check out Cindy's post at WoodSong on the snowy's around her place. I hope your having a good holiday season across the pond in GB.